Saluting all those who served the country

ALMOST 400 guests flocked to the Guildhall on Friday for the third Square Mile Salute banquet, hosted by Michelin-starred chefs Albert and Michel Roux Jr.

With support from leading players in business and politics, including Lord Ashcroft and the spread-betting group CMC Markets, the event has grown into a hotly anticipated culinary masterpiece and a celebration of the City’s fine traditions of hospitality and philanthropy.

Guests tucked into a champagne and royal canapés and caviar reception hosted by the Queen’s chef, Mark Flanagan, Prince Albert of Monaco’s chef Christian Garcia and executive chef of The Royal Automobile Club Philip Corrick.

This was followed by a thought provoking speech by keynote speaker defence attache to the British Embassy in Washington and Vice President of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund, Major General Buster Howes.

Howes conveyed greetings from Her Majesty The Queen for a successful evening, before recalling the proud history of the City and the vital need to look after the families and children of those who serve their country – highlighting the work done by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund.

A four-course banquet – designed by Michel Roux Jr, including courses by Roux scholars Andrew James of Chamberlains and Adam Smith of the Devonshire Arms, and served with individually matched fine wines plus a dram of The Balvenie 14 year Caribbean Cask single malt – might explain why many guests found it hard to move from their seats when midnight struck, leaving toastmaster Alexander Michaels, known as Pav, to use his considerable lung capacity to clear the room.

Special note must go to Chefs for the night Lance Corporal Andrew Kennedy and Lance Corporal Stuart Bennett, both of whom have been beneficiaries of support for their injuries at DMRC Headley Court. City A.M. is proud to have supported the events over the past three years, which have raised more than £500,000 in total for so many deserving military charities and this year also for the Mayor’s Fund for London.

■ ON 5 December the NSPCC hosts the Great British Chefs’ Dinner. To celebrate, we are running a prize draw every week until 28 October based on the gastronomic history of the City. Winners will receive a £50 voucher for breakfast at the City restaurant Hawksmoor.

Q: The Great Fire of London of 1666 was famously started in a bakery on Pudding Lane. What was the name of the baker blamed for starting the blaze?

Email your answers to thecapitalist@cityam.com.

The winner will be chosen at random and announced next week. Terms and conditions apply. For more information visit: nspcc.org.uk/greatbritishchefs